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Neil Lennon hits out at Nicola Sturgeon

Celtic manager accuses first minister of hypocrisy over handling of Rangers’ Covid cases

Lennon said “we as a club have been treated differently from other clubs”

 

The Art of the Dog Whistle, Part whatever...

 

In today's Times, shamefully (OTempora no more is!), there is a disgraceful article which can be described only as the most blatant dog whistle from, and on behalf of,  the club which, apparently, is treated like no other, to a well trained and grateful audience, or audiences. 

 

A dog whistle, perhaps first and foremost,  to the SFA, where, according to no less an authority than BBC Sport Scotland's Irishman, English,

 

"It was Lawwell's influence that helped put Ian Maxwell in his role as as (sic) chief executive......"

 

This may have been out of the kindness of his heart, or because he thought Maxwell the best choice for Scottish football, although I suspect that even the least cynical may see the motive of Sellik's CEO as transactional, ie an exchange of services, with a particular end in view, or something similar.

 

While we are at it, we should note also, that, according to the Sage of Pacific Quay,

 

"it's been Lawwell's support that's helped Neil Doncaster in his role as chief executive of the SPFL."

 

It is kind of worrying if he is right, and to be honest I have seen nothing over the last few years to indicate that he is wrong.

Maxwell does give the impression of malleability. Is the hammer silver? Surely not.

 

A dog whistle, perhaps to the SNP Administration? Consider this coda to the piece:

 

"Asked whether he found it odd that Celtic and Aberdeen had been penalised by the authorities while a club with repeat offenders had escaped without sanction, Lennon said: “Odd? Hypocritical. I could use a lot of words but I’m not going to because I don’t want the story to be about me. I’ve come out and called it as I saw it and people have thrown all sorts back at me.

“But my conscience was clear at the time and still is. And I don’t want to take the government on again but you can tell there is a bit of discontent there.” "

 

What strikes me about this is that he doesn't want to take on the government again. An extraordinary assertion, which implies that he has done so before -it eludes me for the moment- and, presumably, won. If he had lost, he would, I think, have said "because it is a fruitless exercise", or something similar. 

We all know the demographic into which the SNP has successfully- and gratefully- tapped. Does rasellik manager have some -any- influence over that sector of society? Perhaps. 

It is a dog whistle to the unwashed hordes, clearly: Lenny taking on the government, defending the interests of rahoops, against the Rangers bias of the administration. 

 

Maxwell has been told; Sturgeon may have been warned. 

 

Neil Lennon hits out at Nicola Sturgeon

Celtic manager accuses first minister of hypocrisy over handling of Rangers’ Covid cases

Ewing Grahame

Saturday February 20 2021, 12.01am, The Times

 

 

Lennon said “we as a club have been treated differently from other clubs”

 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/neil-lennon-hits-out-at-nicola-sturgeon-jxn7xlmb3

 

Neil Lennon has accused the first minister Nicola Sturgeon of hypocrisy for her treatment of the breaches of Covid-19 protocols by Rangers players compared to her response when similar offences had been committed by Aberdeen and Celtic footballers early in the season.

She threatened to shut down the Scottish game following indiscretions by players from Aberdeen and Celtic back in August, and both clubs had two fixtures postponed as punishment. Yet her reaction to a similar offence by Rangers players in November was to praise the club for “taking swift and decisive action” while a second breach involving players from the Ibrox club last weekend again passed without condemnation or government action.

“There just seemed to be a different tack [when Rangers players broke rules] to when she was speaking about us [in August],” Lennon said. “The fact she brought us into the answer [in response to the second Rangers breach, the first minister said, “I don’t care if it’s Celtic, Rangers or any other club, if you’re breaching the rules, you’re in the wrong”] sort of baffled me as well.

“I think we as a club have been treated differently from other clubs, and from other parts of society as well.”

On the opening day of the season, eight Aberdeen players had met in a city centre bar for a drink following their defeat by Rangers. The following weekend, Celtic’s Belgian full back Boli Bolingoli took advantage of a day off to fly to Spain with his girlfriend without notifying his club. On his return to Scotland, he made a brief appearance as a substitute in the 1-1 draw at Kilmarnock on the second weekend of the Premiership season.

Sturgeon commented at the time: “Every day I stand here asking members of the public to make huge sacrifices in how they live their lives and the vast majority are doing that, and it’s not easy. We can’t have privileged football players just decide they’re not going to bother. So this can’t go on.

“Let me put this as clearly as I can in language that the football world will understand: consider today to be the yellow card. The next time it will be the red card, because you will leave us with absolutely no choice.”

Aberdeen and Celtic took immediate disciplinary action against the individuals concerned — Bolingoli was despatched on loan to Istanbul Basaksehir — but they both had two fixtures postponed.

When Rangers players George Edmundson amd Jordan Jones attended a party in November and were subsequently disciplined by the club, a statement from Holyrood praised Rangers for having taken, effectively, the same action as Aberdeen and Celtic had done: “We commend Rangers for taking such swift and decisive action in this instance, to protect the rest of their squad and wider public.”

Five Rangers players were cautioned by police and fined, having been caught attending a party in Glasgow last weekend and again there was no suggestion of games being postponed and Lennon believes there are double standards in operation.

Sturgeon had also criticised Celtic for having travelled to Dubai for warm-weather training, even though Holyrood had approved their request. “I said all I needed to say after Dubai,” Lennon added. “I said it smacked of hypocrisy and I am not changing from that. The talk of privilege [as applied to football] is overplayed. I think 95 per cent of the people in football have adhered to the rules and protocols.

“Tests have been carried out at great expense by a lot of the clubs all season. It costs a lot of money to set up the stadiums, particularly ours. Now we take four or five coaches to away games, [a requirement] which has changed since Dubai for some reason.

“We got tested on Friday and then we travel up on five or six buses to stay at a hotel, which will probably be opened just for us. We will be in our own area and then we will travel to the stadium in five buses. Then we’ll travel home on five buses. It’s brilliant having a game [against Ross County] in Dingwall on a Sunday night at 7.30pm: that’s a new one.”

Asked whether he found it odd that Celtic and Aberdeen had been penalised by the authorities while a club with repeat offenders had escaped without sanction, Lennon said: “Odd? Hypocritical. I could use a lot of words but I’m not going to because I don’t want the story to be about me. I’ve come out and called it as I saw it and people have thrown all sorts back at me.

“But my conscience was clear at the time and still is. And I don’t want to take the government on again but you can tell there is a bit of discontent there.”

 

Here is the BBC link:

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/55864412

 

 

 

Edited by Uilleam
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Why is this being compared to the previous Celtic and Aberdeen cases? In those cases the players in question returned to training and interacted with other players. The Rangers case was nipped in the bud early and the players did not return to training. Or am I missing something?

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19 minutes ago, BlackSocksRedTops said:

Why is this being compared to the previous Celtic and Aberdeen cases? In those cases the players in question returned to training and interacted with other players. The Rangers case was nipped in the bud early and the players did not return to training. Or am I missing something?

Also, Patteron et al, were acting on their own and against the instructions of the club whereas, in the Dubai case, Lennon's players were sitting in the bar and by a public pool as part of a club-organised excursion. They were acting with their club's permission.

 

 

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9 hours ago, PoohBear said:

Lennon is off apparently, with Kennedy taking over. What an uninspiring person to take over in the interim, anyone think he'll do better than Lennon?

we should chuck the two old firm games so he gets the job. 

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5 hours ago, the gunslinger said:

we should chuck the two old firm games so he gets the job. 

What a catch-22 situation.  Chuck the games and get Kennedy in full-time, which I am sure none of us would complain about..... or go for that invincible season ?  I would give them all the ball in the two OF's, tons of possession, but draw 0-0 - and hope that Kennedy gets it full time :D

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